12 Apr

Meet The Team: Lockdown Update

Meet Sian Thomas, our lovely Executive Assistant Manager for Eichardt’s Private Hotel and sister property, The Spire Hotel. Sian originally hails from the United Kingdom and has been caring for our guests for nearly two years now. She was first introduced to Eichardt’s during her years as a travel agent. Already aware of the hotel’s luxurious reputation, she describes working at such a prestigious and iconic establishment as an incredible opportunity. When Sian isn’t working hard serving our wonderful hotel guests you can find her enjoying a nice glass of Central Otago Pinot Noir and enjoying the beautiful views of Queenstown. We caught up with her this week to see how she has been coping with COVID-19 lockdown, and she has shared a glimpse of her new normal below. We hope you enjoy the read!


Being in Isolation has allowed time for reflection and to enjoy the serenity of our surroundings. I was lucky enough to spend some time with my family who were visiting at the time, that quickly turned into fighting to get them back on a flight to the UK. I was lucky that Queenstown has a community heart and spirit and there were people all over willing to lend a hand.

When I am not organising bookings and chatting with our future guests, I take the silver lining offered to me and have started, with a little encouragement from my housemate, practising Yoga in the mornings. I am not, by nature, a morning person so this was a definite challenge! I am enjoying the incredible views my home offers out towards the Remarkables Mountain range, and find it motivating watching the Sun and clouds chase each other round and through the mountain tops whilst I wrestle with the warrior pose.

Every other day I leave to go for a walk around my home and have found that the silence has helped encourage the native birds New Zealand is so renowned for to sing. I was lucky enough to see a gorgeous Kereru (New Zealand wood pigeon) in the trees, along with the sounds of the Tui’s singing as I walk my loop past the lake. The Lake has been incredibly tranquil and has offered outstanding reflections of the mountains so rarely seen compared to the likes of Lake Matheson or the Milford Mirror Lakes.

The time afforded to us has also been invested in spending quality time with my partner, housemates and the friends and family via various video calling channels. We have had the time to cook together and improve our skill set to then just sit and eat our meals together. Quite often we all worked at opposing times or just had a rushed meal in front of a film. It is nice, we lay the table, the wine and the food and just sit and enjoy each other’s company. After, we play a wide variety of boardgames, including the hardest game of scrabble in my life, (no vowels repeatedly!), cards, Munchkins and two extremely competitive games of Monopoly. We are also working hard to find the perfect matches for all our local Pinot Noirs! 3 of the 4 us are members of a local wine club, as well as tasting and collecting a range of local wines and we are reading up on all our tasting and pairing notes and experimenting finding different combinations. A Valli Real McCoy to start off a roast pork followed by bolder Zweigelt from Marlborough was a highlight! As well as a fabulous Chard Farm Pinot Noir to complement a rich meatball Ragu.

My housemate and I have also been watching the National Theatre in the UK’s filmed performances, as well as joining a subscription that allows us to see recordings of The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Northern Ballet and The Royal Opera. We are both huge theatre fans, and that is something I miss from my life living so close to and in London, so we have thoroughly enjoyed watching One Man, Two Guvnors and Cymbeline. Theatre performances are often 3 hours apiece, but when you have to be indoors, it is great to turn your own living room into a stage and get drawn in by the actors, even though it is through a screen. Jane Eyre is next!

I think Isolation has offered me the chance to slow down and take pleasure in the smaller things that I often rushed past previously. To have the chance to spend that time together is so vital, and mealtimes I think more people skip than they intend, so I am happy we are taking that time back for ourselves.

Sian Thomas